Kim English isn't on the bubble, because that would imply that he still has a tiny chance of making the roster. But following a dreadful summer league season coupled with the addition of Chauncey Billups, Kim's bubble has burst -- all that's left is the official announcement. The Pistons have until Friday before English's contract is guaranteed.
Even so, Kim's keeping his head high. From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, speaking with Kim after Tuesday's game:
“I don’t really take stock in anything other than this quarter or this possession or this game. Everything else is really out of my control.
“I’m a little different than the average human. If I’m playing great or if I’m playing awful, I’m thinking of the next. Next play, next game, that’s the nature of the NBA. What you do next is what makes you, how consistently you can do it. I try not to think too much about anything.”
[...] “I’m just playing. I think I’ll be in this league a long time with my ability to shoot the ball and defend,” English said. “I’m just staying in the moment, and I’ll keep playing.”
A few hours after learning that Billups was returning to Detroit -- giving the Pistons 17 players under contract, two over the NBA's regular-season limit -- Kim shot 3-for-11 against the Miami Heat. Whether or not he was affected by the prospect of being squeezed out is hard to say; as bad as that performance was, it still improved his field goal percentage entering the game (.217). In four games in Orlando, he's now shot 8-for-34.
An excellent game Thursday likely wouldn't have changed English's situation with the Pistons, but it might have helped soften his landing considering the number of NBA decision-makers in the gym. Instead, I'm guessing his NBA career may be interrupted by a trip to Europe.
Peyton Siva, whose roster spot is also at risk, finished the game with nine points, nine assists, seven steals and just two turnovers in 30 minutes. His shooting touch has been anything but reliable in Orlando, but he does enough point guard-y things to make you think Joe Dumars might get creative in hopes of finding room to keep him. (Or not, we'll see. But I'm convinced that Dumars has another blockbuster trade up his sleeves, especially after he was rebuffed in his attempt to move Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva's expiring contracts earlier this month.)
Update: Well, that didn't take long:
Kim English was released by the #Pistons today. Second year of two-year deal was not guaranteed. He's a UFA.— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) July 11, 2013